Smart Window Goes Clear Or Opaque In Seconds

A new smart window system for use in green homes and buildings can go from 100% opaque to almost completely clear in seconds. According to its creators, the new smart window overcomes previous drawbacks to such systems, including lower cost, long-term performance and non-toxic manufacturing processes.

Ho Sun Lim, Jeong Ho Cho, Jooyong Kim and Chang Hwan Lee... discovered that using a polymer, so-called "counterions" and a solvent such as methanol was an inexpensive and less harsh way to make a stable, robust smart window. It has the added advantage of being extremely tunable — quickly and easily switching from 100% opaque to almost completely clear in seconds.

"To our knowledge, such extreme optical switching behavior is unprecedented among established smart windows," the authors state. "This type of light control system may provide a new option for saving on heating, cooling and lighting costs through managing the light transmitted into the interior of a house."

(Smart window details)

Smart windows that can reversibly alternate between extreme optical characteristics via clicking counteranions of different hydration energies were developed on glass substrates through the facile spray-casting of poly[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyltrimethylammonium chloride-co-3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate]. The optical transmittance was either 90.9% or 0% over the whole spectral range when alternately immersed in solutions containing thiocyanate (SCN–) or bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide (TFSI–) ions, respectively. The extreme optical transitions were attributed to formation of microporous structures via the molecular aggregation of polyelectrolyte chains bearing TFSI– ions in methanol. Because the smart windows were either highly transparent toward or completely blocking of incident light upon direct counterion exchange, this kind of nanotechnology may provide a new platform for efficiently conserving on energy usage in the interior of buildings.
( Counterion-Induced Reversibly Switchable Transparency in Smart Windows )

SF fans may recall the polawindows from Frank Herbert's 1972 novel The Godmakers:

Orne returned to his room to change for dinner, stopped at the polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/21/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Living Space ")

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.' - Otfrid von Hanstein, 1930.

Aequoreas Floating Village 3D Printed From Ocean Junk
'... the Floating Island chain of independent international corporate entities.' - Larry Niven, 2000.

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...' - Clifford Simak, 1952.

Rosemont Hotel Dubai Has Lobby Rainforest
'The braided waterfalls and hanging gardens that spilled down the arcology's levels..' - Paolo Bacigalupi, 2015.



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.